Healthcare Roundup—Senate rejects Democrats' push to block ACA alternatives; California voters consider pediatric hospital funds

The Senate rejected a bill on Wednesday that would have overturned the executive order expanding short-term (or “junk”) insurance plans. (Pixabay)

Senate rejects Democrats push to block ACA alternatives

As expected, Republicans panned a move by Senate Democrats to force a vote on banning short-term health insurance plans on Wednesday.

The bill would have overturned the executive order expanding short-term (or “junk”) insurance plans. “It’s disappointing that too many Senate Republicans failed to keep their promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage,” wrote Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who introduced the bill, on her website. 

The move was largely seen as an effort to push Republicans to go on record opposing protections for patients with pre-existing conditions in advance of the midterms. (Release)  

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California voters to weigh funding for pediatric hospital infrastructure

California voters will consider in November whether or not the state should borrow $1.5 billion to support infrastructure at 13 children's hospitals around that state.

The bond act would would allocate $135 million each to eight private, nonprofit pediatric hospitals, including the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. It would also allocate $54 million each to the University of California's five hospitals. The upgrades would include getting hospitals up to code for seismic standards by 2030. (San Francisco Chronicle)

New Jersey's St. Peters Health System announces search for a partner

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System announced it is exploring its options for a future strategic partnership or affiliation.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based healthcare system is the parent company of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute care teaching hospital. Officials said the process of identifying potential partners will begin this month, but they said there is no specific timetable about when or if the organization will ultimately pursue an affiliation. (Release)  

D.C. officials fighting Ascension's planned closure of hospital

Council members said they will do everything in their power to stop Catholic healthcare giant Ascension from its planned closure of Providence Health System's hospital in D.C.

Providence intends on closing its inpatient hospital by Dec. 14 with a plan to transition to outpatient care. But with a stated goal of keeping the hospital open for at least three more years, city council members said during a hearing on Wednesday that they plan to push forward legislation that would require hospitals to inform the public of its intentions and to seek city approval to shut down in order to stall the closure. (Washington Business Journal)

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